Myanmar: A way forward or cul-de-sac?

Webinar · 18.05.2021 10:00 - 11:15

Tuesday 18 May 2021, at 10.00 – 11.15 EEST (9.00 – 10.15 CEST)

After a military coup on the 1st of February, Myanmar plunged into political turmoil. The violent crackdown on demonstrations and civil disobedience has intensified. Is there a way out of the crisis, or is Myanmar heading towards a protracted conflict without prospects for peace? This webinar will shed light on the current situation in Myanmar and explore possible future trajectories.

Registration by Friday 14 May to


Opening words

Bart Gaens

Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Bart Gaens is Senior Research Fellow at the Global Security Research Programme at FIIA. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki. Previously he has worked as Specially-Appointed Associate Professor at the University of Osaka, Japan, and as Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Helsinki. Dr Gaens has published widely on Europe-Asia relations; on Japan’s foreign policy; and on security-related issues and international relations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Keynote speaker

Bertil Lintner

Journalist and author

Bertil Lintner is an award-winning Swedish journalist, author and strategic consultant who lives in Thailand and has been writing about Asia for nearly four decades. He has written extensively about Myanmar, including seven books on the country. He also writes about organized crime (including the drug trade), ethnic and political insurgencies in Asia, and regional security. His most recent book (The Costliest Pearl) covers geostrategic conflicts in the Indian Ocean. His website is at


Riikka Laatu

Ambassador of Finland to Myanmar

Riikka Laatu has been the Ambassador of Finland to Myanmar since 2017. She has been working in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland since 1985, holding various positions mainly on development policy and cooperation related issues, as well as relations between Finland and Southern Africa, and a number of Asian countries. She has been posted in Dar es Salaam as head of development cooperation, and Rome as permanent representative to the Rome based UN organisations. Prior to joining the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, she worked at the University of Helsinki as a lecturer in Geography. She has also worked for the International Labour Organisation in the Philippines and in the subregional office for the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.


Olli Ruohomäki

Non-resident Senior Fellow

Olli Ruohomäki is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at FIIA. He is also a Senior Advisor with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Dr Ruohomäki has worked with the United Nations and the Finnish government in war-torn countries and conflict zones in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia and Africa.